LIU Xuemei

LIU Xuemei

Ph.D, Associate Investigator
The neural basis of innate fear and fear-related mental disorders.
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The neural basis of innate fear and fear-related mental disorders.


Innate fear is essential for animal survival, and is an ability conserved across species. Exposure of animals to visual cue of predator results in many biochemical, gene and epigenetic alteration in activity in many brain areas. However, the neural substrates underlying the innate defensive behavioral phenotypes evoked by visual threat signal remains unclear. Our current interest focus on: 1) Investigates the neural circuit of innate fear responses evoked by looming stimulus, focusing on subcortical pathway and cortical-subcortical interaction by using of Optogenetics, In vivo Electrophysiology, Fiber Photometry and Trans-synaptic virus tracing. 2) Identification of neural substrate underlying visual innate fear responses by Proteomics, Transcriptome, Gene editing and Patch clamp and Animal behavioral test. 3) Determining biomarkers and novel genes for maladaptive behavior in fear-related mental disorders.


2020-Present, Associate Investigator, SIAT, CAS.
2015-2019 Ph.D, University of the Chinese Academy of Science.
2014-2020 Assistant Investigator, SIAT, CAS.
2011-2014 Research Assistant, SIAT, CAS.
2008-2011 MSc, South China Normal University, College of Biophotonics.
2004-2008 BSc, Anhui Normal University.

Selected publications

(# Co-first author, * Corresponding author)

  1. Zhou Z#, Liu XM#, Chen SP, Zhang ZJ, Liu YM, Montardy Q, Tang YQ, Wei PF, Liu N, Li L, Song R, Lai J, He XB, Chen C, Bi GQ, Feng GP, Xu FQ* & Wang LP*. A VTA GABA neural circuit mediates a visually evoked innate defensive responses. Neuron (2019) 103(3):473-488.e6.
  2. Montardy Q#, Wei MX#, Liu XM#, Tian Y, Zhou Z, Lai J, Zhao BH, Besnard S, Tighilet B*, Chabbert C*, Wang LP*.Selective optogenetic stimulation of Glutamatergic, but not GABAergic, Vestibular Nuclei neurons induces immediate and reversible postural imbalance in mice. Progress In Neurobiology. (2021) 204:102085..
  3. Montardy Q#, Zhou Z #, Lei ZG#, Liu XM#, Zeng PY, Chen C, Liu YM, Panla SL, Huang K, Wang LP*. Characterization of glutamatergic VTA neural population responses to aversive and rewarding conditioning in freely-moving mice. Science Bulletin (2019).64.16:1167-1178.
  4. Liu XM#, Chen C#, Liu YM#, Wang ZJ, Huang K, Wang F*, Wang LP*.Gentle handling attenuates innate defensive responses to visual threats. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience (2018) 12:239.
  5. Liu XM, Shu SY*, Zeng CC*, Cai YF, Zhang KH, Wang CX, Fang J. The role of Substance P in the marginal division of the neostriatum in learning and memory is mediated through the Neurokinin 1 receptor in Rats. Neurochemical Research (2011):1896-1902.
  6. Montardy Q#, Zhou Z#, Liu XM#, Lei ZG#, Zeng PY, Chen C, Liu YM, Huang K, Wei MX, Wang LP*. Glutamatergic and GABAergic neuronal populations in the dorsal Periacqueductual Gray have different functional roles in aversive conditioning. Neuroscience Letters (2020) 732-135059.
  7. Wei PF#, Liu N#, Zhang ZJ#, Liu XM, Tang YQ, He XB, Wu BF, Zhou Z, Liu YH, Li J, Zhang Y, Zhou XY, Xu L, Chen L, Bi GQ, Hu XT, Xu FQ & Wang LP*. Processing of visually evoked innate fear by a non-canonical thalamic pathway. Nature Communications (2015). 6:6756  
  8. Wang GQ#, Cen C#, Li C#, Cao S#, Wang N, Zhou Z, Liu XM, Xu Y, Tian NX, Zhang Y, Wang J, Wang LP* , Wang Y*.Deactivation of excitatory neurons in the prelimbic cortex via Cdk5 promotes pain sensation and anxiety. Nature Communications (2015). 6:7660  
  9. Qi XY#, Du ZH #, Zhu L#, Liu XM, Hua X, Zhou Z, Zhong C, Li SJ, Wang LP * & Zhang ZJ*. The Glutamatergic Postrhinal Cortex–Ventrolateral Orbitofrontal Cortex Pathway Regulates Spatial Memory Retrieval. Neuroscience Bulletin (2019) 35:3 447-460
  10. Zhou CR#, Zhou Z#, Han YS, Lei ZG, Li L, Montardy Q, Liu XM, Xu FQ, Wang LP*. Activation of parvalbumin interneurons in anterior cingulate cortex impairs observational fear. Science Bulletin (2018) 63:12 771-778.
  11. Zhu L#, Wang Z#, Du ZH#, Qi XY, Shu H, Liu D, Su F, Ye Q, Liu XM, Zhou Z, Tang YQ, Song R, Wang XB, Lin L, Li SJ*, Han Y*, Wang LP* & Zhijun Zhang ZJ*. Impaired para-hippocampal gyrus-orbitofrontal cortex circuit associated with visuospatial memory deficit as a potential biomarker and intervening approach for Alzheimer Disease. Neuroscience Bulletin (2020) 36, 831–844.